Today in Latin America
Top Story— Mexican authorities sentenced a 15-year old, American-born boy to three years in prison for torturing and murdering four people. Edgar Jiménez Lugo, who went by the nickname “El Ponchis”, shocked Mexico due to the gruesome nature of his murders when he was arrested last December. He was 14 at the time of the murders. Mexican authorities said that Lugo confessed to killing four men and hanging their bodies from a bridge in Cuernavaca, a town near Mexico City. Lugo, who was born in San Diego but raised in Mexico, claimed to have started killing for drug cartels when he was 11 and earned $200 a week for committing the crimes while drugged and under threat. The 15-year old’s case highlights the increasing number of minors used in Mexico’s drug war. A report released in October by Mexico’s attorney general’s office said the number of minors charged with drug-related crimes had increased to 810 in 2009 from 482 in 2006.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Cuba commemorated the attack on the Moncada barracks of July 26, 1953, that propelled Fidel Castro to national fame and became the first battle of the Cuban Revolution. Get a visual sense of daily life in Havana 58 years after the historic day in this photo essay by Jorge Royan.
- ICE and immigration activists are battling over the controversial U.S. deportation program, Secure Communities. Roque Planas reports on the latest developments in the fight.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A report issued by two U.S. members of Congress said that at least 122 weapons recovered at crime scenes in Mexico have been linked to the controversial Operation Fast and Furious gun-running operation.
- A Mexican court found a 14-year old, American-born boy guilty of torturing and killing four people.
- California Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this week signed AB 130, the state’s Dream Act bill that allows undocumented immigrant students attending state colleges or universities to apply for scholarships funded by private donors.
- A prison riot that turned into a shootout in Ciudad Juárez left 17 people dead, including one woman.
- Cuban Vice President José Ramón Machado Ventura gave a speech for the holiday of July 26 calling upon the country to work harder to advance economic reforms.
- Haitians’ frustration with their president was on display during Michel Martelly’s Sunday trip to northern city Cap Haitien in northern Haiti, where demonstrators threw rocks and bottles at him.
- Chevron Puerto Rico will pay a $600,000 penalty and spend $5.2 million for improvements to storage tank facilities on the island, after 100 of them were cited by the Environmental Protection Agency for leakage violations.
- A man wanted for war crimes in Honduras is being held in Canada before being deported back to the Central American nation on July 30.
- A group of public health care workers has agreed to return to work after reaching a limited deal with the government over the weekend, ending a nearly week-long strike.
- A Colombian judge jailed one of former President Álvaro Uribe’s top ministers as he awaits trial for diverting state subsidies for political benefit.
- Venezuela’s foreign minister Tuesday called out U.S. conservatives for what he claims are “extremist” stances against President Hugo Chávez’s government.
- Peru’s Supreme Court confirmed the sentence of seven years and six months behind bars for former President Alberto Fuimori.
- Bolivian President Evo Morales said he’s worried that U.S. authorities will plant something on his presidential plane to tie him to drug traffickers when he attends Wednesday’s United Nations General Assembly meeting.
- Workers at the world’s largest copper mine in Chile have broken off talks and threatened to continue the five-day old strike indefinitely.
- Romania plans to seek compensation after Argentina cancelled their August 10 soccer friendly in the wake of coach Sergio Batista’s departure.
- S&P upgraded Uruguay’s credit rating earlier this week, leaving the country only one notch below investment grade.